Photographer's Note

I really was having a dilemma trying to decide what photograph I wanted to share with you all today. I have a lot of time to think about it because the doctor told me to take the rest of the week off - to get over a sore throat - can you believe that? He said to just relax and heal - no checking work e-mail, no calling my employees, no answering to the man, just relax. It is the worst sore throat I have ever experienced, though.

Anyway, while I was relaxing and since I feel better from all the medication the doc prescribed, I was going through my notifications of my favorites and clicked on one fresh from a market in Guatemala and Kristine's (Avene) latest trip. She described some of her experiences with shooting in that busy Chichicatenango market with her super-wide lens.

Kristine, this one's for you. I never had anyone throw rocks at me yet, but I had a Mexican Federale surreptitiously show me his favorite finger. I was trying to be slick with this photo - trying to get a whole scene - the gorditas and bowls of food cooking, the proprietor of the booth working and that cop hanging around the market. The cop knew what I was doing, though, they're pretty smart - I have to give them credit, so he left me a surprise in the frame. It's hard to pick out in this low-res version, but he's definitely flipping me off. Of course, I'm no fool, either, I knew what he was doing - that's why I pressed the shutter when I did...

So, about the market in Divisadero...

This market is relatively small and built on a hillside from the train tracks to almost the rim of the Copper Canyon. It gets most of the business from the brief 20 minute stop of the Chihuahua Pacifico (Chepe)train that stops twice a day to disgorge tourists to get a quick shot from the Mirador Huererachi down a series of steps past all sorts of vendors selling everything from Copper Canyon t-shirts (hey I got a couple!) to semi-precious stone jewelry. Most of the vendors at the top of the market by the train tracks provide a similar fare as Dona Esther, the vendor in this photo.

I have placed an amplifying image in the workshop - I literally turned around from that shot to get this one. Maybe I moved a couple feet, but not far at all. Hopefully from these shots you can get an idea of the market.

Our guide Rodrigo told us at the onset of the tour that there would be a lot of appetizing looking food cooking on the streets and in the markets, but he said he would advise sticking to the meals planned for us as they were tailored for our stomachs. Well, they were tailored for everyone on the tour's stomachs but not for my taste buds, for the most part I felt that the meals were pandering to what they thought we would like, not to challenge us with anything really new or interesting. Or to some of us, scary. Sure there were some "traditional" dishes that were pretty good (once I got the "good" salsa), but I longed to try this stuff. Heck, I've eaten in much worse places - like a half-born, fertilized duck egg that had been fermented for six weeks underground from a guy carrying them down the street in Subic City, Phillipines, or Egg Foo Yung from a lady squatting on a side street in Pusan, Korea with a campfire on the sidewalk, with a side of the hottest garlic kimchi I have ever tasted, for breakfast on my way back to the ship. You get the picture, I'm pretty well known for my cast iron gut...

So I tried a gordita from Esther, and another from another lady. I ate a chili relleno as well, but the gorditas were simply wonderful. My wife even had to try one. Guess what? She got the "La Tourista", but I did not... But that, my friends, is a whole 'nother story...

So, I'll be lurking around checking things out from time to time for the next days, at least until I feel well enough to venture outside... I'll see you in the gallery!

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Photo Information
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Additional Photos by Reed Radcliffe (rlrad) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 250 W: 18 N: 393] (1845)
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